Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is critical to the quality of marriage. The more emotional intelligence skills each partner has, the happier the marriage is. In this introductory article, I'll cover two important aspects of emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is a key part of the marriage foundation. The marriage foundation consists of your 13 Personal Needs and Emotional Intelligence. It is with emotional intelligence that one can execute sound marriage advice effectively. 

Did you know:

- Only 36% of people are able to identify their emotions as they happen?

- 90% of all high-performers have high EQ's?

- Emotional intelligence accounts for 58% of job performance in all types of jobs?

- A high EQ relates to an extra $29,000 in annual salary?

What is Emotional Intelligence?


"Emotional Intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships." 
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is a Skill

The good news about EQ is that it is a skill that can be learned! Actually, EQ is really four different sets of skills that can be learned:

  1. 1
    Self Awareness
  2. 2
    Self Management
  3. 3
    Social Awareness
  4. 4
    Relationship Management

The big take-away is that the more you understand your emotions, and those of your partner, the better.

  • How many arguments might be avoided or diffused if one or both of you had better control of emotions?
  • How much better would the communications be if you can be aware of what your partner is feeling, and be able to talk about it?
  • How would the sex be if the two of you were in tuned with each others feelings? How more intense would your intimacy be if you "felt" your partner emotionally?

Emotional Intelligence is critical to a happy marriage.

Here's the "spark" I'd like you to learn today: There are no good or bad emotions, there are only emotions. The more you can become aware of your emotions, identify them, and label them, the quicker you'll be at developing a high emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence Is Your "STATE"

You come home from a long, hard day at work. You are tired and hungry. You pull up into your driveway. You see that your spouse and children are already home. How do you enter the house?

For many people, you enter the house, hang up your coat, walk into the kitchen to grab a beverage, and head to the bedroom where you'll change clothes. The children are loud and at your feet. Your spouse is trying to talk with you. You ignore everyone and quietly make your way through the house.

Since you are tired, your head is hung low. Your shoulders are slumped. All you are thinking about is how tired you are. 

What kind of impression does that entrance make on your spouse and children? What message does that send?

Compare that now to an alternative way to enter the house, one that can build a happy household and marriage.

While in your car, you take a deep breath. You understand your loving spouse and children are inside. You are grateful for them. It puts a smile on your face. Even though you are tired, you want to be present for them. You enter the house with a burst of energy. You chat and play with the children as you make your way to the kitchen. You hug your spouse and kiss for a long time. 

You grab your beverage and have a nice, short talk with your spouse. You are excited to hear about everyone's day. Your head is high. Your shoulders are back. You are attentive and participating with your family.

The difference between those two scenarios is STATE. Your state is how you carry and present yourself. Your state affects your emotions, mindset, attitude, and confidence. Your state is made up of three elements: physiology, focus, and language.  

Physiology

Your physiology is how you carry yourself physically. 

When I get a bad headache, I find myself looking down. My shoulders are slumped over. My breathing is shallow. Here's the funny thing. When I have a headache but wrap myself into an activity, I tend to forget the pain of my headache. When I'm done with the activity and I settle down, all of a sudden the pain of my headache returns. Has that ever happened to you?

How you use your body affects your feelings. Right now, think of a happy time you had recently. Re-live the experience in your mind. Don't just think about it, put yourself there. When you do this, you'll find yourself changing how you feel.

You have the power to change how you feel simply by changing how you carry yourself physically. In the example above coming home from work, by carrying yourself with more energy and confidence, you feel better, and present yourself in a positive manner.  

Focus

What you think about, what you focus on, has tremendous impact on your feelings and actions. 

In my example of when I get a headache, I feel more pain when I think about the headache. However, when my mind is distracted or occupied thinking of something else, the pain seems to go away. What you focus on can transform your life.

When we have problems, we tend to focus on the problems. However, if we were to change our focus to solutions, the problems seem manageable. 

There was a study done many years ago with  clinically depressed people. These folks were hospitalized for depression. In the study the patients were offered a new treatment. The treatment was to look in the mirror and put a huge smile on their faces, focusing on being happy. Their depression vanished and most were taken off of their depression medication. 

What you think about has great power over your feelings and actions.

Language

Language is both what we say out loud and internally to ourselves. Our language has power to change our direction.

What words do you use when feeling bad, depressed, or sad? What questions do you ask yourself when speaking to yourself internally?

Changing your words and internal questions can change how you feel. 

When I get a headache, I find myself talking slower and with less volume. When I catch myself doing that, I purposely change how I talk so it is more like my normal language patterns.

When I'm faced with a difficult task, I find myself using words that are negative and counter-productive. When I catch myself doing that, I change the words to minimize the difficulty of the task. I rephrase the questions I ask myself more along the lines to how can I achieve this, or what do I have to do to have fun while achieving my goal.

Language has a huge impact on our state and how we feel.

Marriage Coaching

Summary

Emotional intelligence plays a huge role in the quality of your marriage. When you develop the skills to manage your feelings and pickup on the feelings of your partner, you will find you have less arguments and less defensiveness.

One skill to help you with your emotional intelligence is the ability to control your state. Your physiology, focus, and language determine how others see you and react with you. When you put yourself in a positive state, you are helping to lead your marriage toward your desired goals.

About the author

Mark Jala is a certified marriage coach, researcher, and consumer advocate. Certified in Strategic Interventions, Mark bases all of his services and advice on verifiable research. With nearly 40 years of problem solving experience, Mark has developed a holistic approach to marriage coaching which provides a context and execution plan not seen in ordinary marriage services.

  • Marvelous post on Emotional Intelligence. Having a positive state will help keep your marriage positive. Love the example on coming home from work and the comparison. Thanks for the education.

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